Who? I'll get there. First we all have to contend with my tears. My Boys are gone. My Jason, My Weed, My Starski, and My Ed. Gone. They were here for so many days, that I allowed myself the fantasy of their relocation. And, poof! Gone.
Now I need to redirect my focus to while they were here. It keeps the tears away. Wow! My Boys are on the road promoting the new CD, Done With The Devil, and, well, WOW! The CD drops on April 21st, and I urge you to pre-order. I loved everything, but one personal favorite, "Broken Toy" is haunting, revealing, and raw, with savagely exquisite imagery and lyrics that grab the chest and won't let go. For days. And then there's the song that holds tremendous personal and sentimental significance for the Outlook: the chorus was conceived on July 27, 2008, at a benefit jam for Blues harp player, Craig Lawler, who tragically passed away a couple of months later, just shy of his 33rd birthday. The song is titled, "Holler for Craig Lawler." I heard the song Thursday night, and again in the first set Friday night. Craig's sister, Diane Lawler was in the audience Friday night. And for that reason, Jason did something musicians almost never do: per Diane's request, he performed the song again in the second set. I filmed it, but I'm having technical difficulties getting it on the site (read: techno moron), but we will. Ed Note: It's on the site now!
The new work clearly demonstrates brilliant evolution on the part of a brilliant band. Shawn "Guitarski" Starski is tighter than ever, if that can be believed. Regardless of his speed, every note was clear and clean. I'm not our Sr. Guitar Correspondent, Chick Cavallero, so I won't even try to go beyond that (and, as is evidenced by the photo, not only is Starski smokin' on a guitar, he even jumps in and helps clean the bar after the gig!). Jason? What in the hell can I say that true connoisseurs haven't already, and much better than I could. Weed's bass solo on "Holler for Craig Lawler" is JAMMIN'!!! Everyone knows I love my Buck Weed, but I swear this is not a case of favoritism: I must report, that last week, Todd "Buck Weed" Edmunds took the crown from Bryan Gordan. I shall state nothing further on this matter. Semi-new drummer, Ed Michaels, has one hell of a musical resume, and we all saw why. He knows his way around a kit. I don't know when they'll be back, but you all will be notified as soon as I do. My Boys are gone...
I didn't have time Saturday night to mourn much, as Paul Soderman's CD Release Party for This House Iz Blue, with new band, Bluez House, filled our house. Twice. Seriously, we had to turn away about 100 people! And for good reason: they slammed it all over the place. They will be back, and back, and back, and back. Welcome back, Paul. Given Saturday's turnout, clearly the entire Front Range missed you! Call me! What a great night.
So who's here this week? Tomorrow night be have Harper, and I've heard so much about this man, that my curiosity is piqued. Here's what did it: PART HARMONICA WIZARD AND PART rhythmic explorer, Harper is a fiery artist who blurs the lines between rock, blues, soul and world music. His latest Blind Pig release, "Day By Day", displays his trademark virtuoso harp performances, distinctive instrumentation, deeply soulful grooves and instantly memorable songs and provides another prime example of why his unique roots music style occupies a category of its own. Harper has been described as "a singer with the deep soul of Motown, a harmonica player who can graft Sonny Boy II and Little Walter with John Popper, a songwriter who tells his own compelling stories in an unhurried, J.J. Cale-like manner, and a musical visionary who is unafraid to mix the didgeridoo, an important part of his Australian indigenous culture, with infectious modern percussive rhythms". His skill lies in the fact that he is able to tap into the kindred spirits running through his traditional and modern influences, borrowing from western and world music to develop a highly original take on the roots genre. He also takes the harmonica beyond its assigned place. Harper’s innovative use of electronic enhancement and feedback breaks the traditional boundaries of the harmonica, giving his music its distinctive harmonics and effects.
I CAN'T WAIT!!!
Friday night we have a 6:00 Short Set with Cassie Taylor, and she's always a talented delight. After her set, the CBS is having their annual meeting at 6:30, and then at 8:00, Muddy's Boy, Big Bill Morganfield, backed by My Beloved Delta Sonics, hits the stage! I'm power napping until then. I've not heard Big Bill live before. Excited!
Then Saturday night. SHE'S BAAAAACK!!! The Triumphant return of Tempa and the Tantrums! Everyone is so happy we have our Tempa back. I imagine it's going to be a busy night, seeing a lot of good friends. Tempa has that way about her.
Speaking of Tempa, a couple of months ago, whilst she was still in Tel Aviv, I was trying to book Randy McAllister, but our calendars wouldn't match up. During this attempt, Jill Watkins mentioned to me that Randy is Tempa's favorite voice. So, I emailed her in Isreal, informing her I was saving a couple of his voice mails for when she returns. No need, Tempa. I booked him! June 30th, he's ours. I'll save you a seat at my table.
REMINDER!!! Sunday, March 22nd is a Benefit Boogie Jam for Ron Thompson, 6:30! This is a pro-invite jam ONLY, and we will be updating you on who's sitting in with Ron, Lionel, Mark, and Jay. There are live and silent auction items, and a few surprises...mark your calendars!
Special Note From The Ambassador Of Cool:
We have a great week of music coming up next week as well. Two nights with Ron Thompson and on Wednesday the 18th Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King will be here. For all of our Tuesday night Blues Jammers here’s a tip. While I can’t make any promises it looks like Smokin’ Joe & the band might get in to Boulder early. There is a chance that they will sit in on the Tuesday Night jam. So come on down. In the future, when sitting around with your friends, you might be able to causally mention, “Yeah, I’ve played with Smokin Joe Kubek”
(Continues Next Column)
Thu 3/12 - Harper
Fri 3/13 - Big Bill Morganfield($10)
Sat 3/14 - Tempa & The Temptations
Sun 3/15 - Jazz Jam w/ Mark
Tue 3/17 - Blues Jam W/Dan Treanor
Wed 3/18 - Smokin Joe Kubek ($10)
Thu 3/19 - Ron Thompson Solo ($10)
Fri 3/20 - Ron Thompson & Resistors ($15)
Sat 3/21 - Thin Ice Band
Sun 3/22 - Benefit Blues Jam For Ron
In closing, I've mentioned the Grand County Blues Society's "Blue Star Connection" program (see website below) in the last two Blues Letters. One reason is that Blues & Greens has been fortunate enough to host Mr. John Catt twice over the previous couple of weeks, serving as a physical reminder of all they do over there in Grand County. Ergo, I thought it would be nice to have John tell you about my pet program himself. And although I'm mentioning this many months in advance, December 26, 2009, will be my Third Annual Birthday Fund-Raiser for Blue Star Connection, and the second in which I've added the CBS' Blues in the Schools program. So, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!
How did this idea come about? I was talking to Colin Connors after a Shining Stars reunion; the GCBS puts on a blues show for the kids each year. Anyway, I struck up a conversation with Colin and simply asked him if he had a guitar, his reply, "A beat up acoustic." My response was, "Would you like an electric guitar" he replied, "Anything to brighten my day." I asked him, "What color?" His Mom replied, "Baby blue like his eyes" Everything else has been magic. Two weeks later someone came to me with a Baby Blue Ibenez and ask me if I could find it a home. This is the honest truth. A week later, Colin got his guitar as a surprise; his smile on our webpage says it all. He also has been responsible for connecting us to almost all the kids to date. You might say he is Super Blue Star Ambassador.
How many instruments are distributed per year? Well its odd, but we have done five in the last four weeks. We are over 20 now, and we have sadly lost three this past year.
Where can our readers donate? Go to our website and follow the donation instructions or put a check into the mail to GCBS, PO Box 1530, Winter Park 80482. Let us know its solely for Blue Star. You can donate in anyone's name or memory too. Any amount is appreciated and will be used. http://www.grandblues.org/BlueStar/tabid/59/Default.aspx
Since we have so many good, local musicians, if any of them have instruments to donate, will you take them? Any instruments are definitely welcomed. We will list them and find kids to play them, that's a promise.
Thank you, John. And readers, he's right when he says "any amount is appreciated...."
Well so far we have 5 songs for the box! Does no one have a few favorite tunes we could add?
What is your favorite Blues song? We're going to put a jukebox on thewebsite so you can hear yours and at least25 of your fellow subscribers choices any time
you want.Drop us a line here and we'll put it in the queue. (If it's your own song, send us an MP3)